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HP, SuSE Expand Partnership

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Hewlett-Packard and SuSE Linux Thursday revealed their latest partnership. Under the terms of this expanded agreement, HP will resell and support SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, powered by UnitedLinux, on industry-standard HP ProLiant and Itanium-based servers.

HP and SuSE Linux Thursday revealed their latest partnership under the terms of which both vendors will sell and support SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.

This partnership builds on a previous agreement under which HP sold SuSE Linux version 7.0 on its ProLiant servers.

With this new agreement, HP and SuSE customers will have a single point of contact for the purchase, support, and maintenance of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, Mike Balma, Linux business strategist for HP, told ServerWatch. Balma noted that with the seamless support offered by this move, HP is “taking the partnership to the next level.”

SuSE has optimized the operating system for deployment on HP’s servers through fine tuning and benchmarking, Uwa Hein, chief alliance officer for SuSE said.

Enterprises can purchase both products from either company. Support is available from both sides as well, although SuSE will not provide the actual hardware support. It will instead ensure that the customer is seamlessly connected with HP. HP will provide level-1 and level-2 support for the operating system. SuSE will continue to provide level-3 support, but HP will take care of handing the customer over to SuSE.

The overall goal of the partnership, according to Hein, is to both “raise the market share of Linux” as well as SuSE Linux’s share. The vendor is shooting to have its software on more than 50 percent of the HP systems purchased.

Research firm IDC sees this as an attainable goal. “This partnership between SuSE Linux and HP will advance the cause of Linux servers running enterprise-class workloads,” said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president, worldwide server group.

“SuSE is the provider of one of the world’s top Linux distributions, and HP is the server vendor that shipped the largest number of Linux server units worldwide in 2002. This agreement between the two companies, which have been working together for more than five years, addresses customers’ business requirements to have a single point of responsibility for enterprise-level Linux server support. It will help both of the companies to grow Linux server sales in Europe and worldwide.”

SuSE began working with Compaq, which has since acquired by HP, in 1999.

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